Irish Soda Bread
so very easy to make for St. Patrick’s Day and for any other day of the year.
Today my mission is to make Irish Soda bread. My grandson was intrigued by the name and asked me what kind of soda is used in the bread.
I encouraged him to do a search on his iTouch (that was several years ago, now it’s a tablet) and then asked him to let me know what ingredients I would need.
This was a great way to get in an easy history lesson and he would be more likely to retain the information doing it himself.
Of course he was a little disappointed when he found out the soda was actually baking soda and not soda pop. Oh, bummer!
All was not lost because we learned about the traditional Irish Soda Bread. It seems that in the mid 19th century soda bread was made as the “daily” bread to be eaten with the family meals.
Made with only flour, baking soda, sour milk and salt the bread didn’t ‘keep’ for more than a couple of days and had to be baked often.
Traditional soda bread is what the folks in Ireland consider to be a basic table bread, or a brown soda bread made with whole-meal flour. Or it can be a white soda bread made with white flour and soda, buttermilk, and salt.
The ingredients used for baking traditional soda bread does not contain sugar, butter, raisins, or nuts; the dough shouldn’t be kneaded; it is not cake-like and it shouldn’t be sweet. It is very different from the American soda bread made in our local bakeries today.
So here is a very EASY and simple recipe that is a ‘traditional’ Irish Soda Bread recipe I adapted from About.com. This is a very easy recipe to make while the kids are in the kitchen. They can help and get a little history lesson at the same time.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine the baking soda and salt.
- Make a well in the center and add 1 cup of the buttermilk — setting aside the remaining ½ cup. Stir in the dry ingredients and buttermilk with a wooden spoon until the milk is absorbed and then gradually add in the remaining milk until a soft dough is formed.
- The dough will quite sticky, you may have to add ¼ cup more flour until it is workable.
- Sprinkle a little flour on your hands and counter and form the dough into a ball.
- Place it into an 8″ inch cake pan that has been sprayed with pam.
- Wet a large knife and slice it almost half-way through the dough to make a large cross.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until it is lightly golden on the top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
My sister the cook makes this all the time. She told me she and my brother-in-law enjoy it with a bowl of hearty soup or beef stew. The next morning she slices the bread and makes toast, spreads on some butter and jelly and has it with coffee. Sounds delish.